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Optimism Brewing In NFL Lockout Talks

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I'm careful not to get too excited about the latest NFL lockout news because it seems I've continually been let down over the last few months but there does seem to be at least some optimism brewing in the latest round of labor talks.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports a contingent of owners and players will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week in the Washington D.C. area. This is the third round of talks we know about in the last few weeks with the two sides previously meeting in the Chicago area and then the New York area. 

NFL Network's Albert Breer reports the talks this week will be similar to the previous ones which means Judge Arthur Boylan should be there. It sounds like he's acting more as a referee rather than handing down orders.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post has reported that it's looking "increasingly realistic" that a deal could be done by the end of this month. That's not to say it will happen but that things are looking up.

The owners will meet on June 21 and, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, they've been told to prepare to stay overnight. I'm not sure exactly what that means but the more time they spend talking the better, I think.

So I'm feeling a little better about the situation. If a deal could be done by sometime around the Fourth of July, we could have a full training camp, preseason and regular season, which would be a wonderful feeling considering just weeks ago we thought games could be compromised.